Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Veggie Stuffing

When I saw the beautiful acorn squash at the farms,  I knew I had to make this dish.  I’ve long admired stuffed squash recipes but I had never made it before.  With the holidays fast approaching and the beautiful produce at my fingertips, it was time.


Once I started contemplating the kinds of veggies to include with the quinoa, I had to slow myself down because I wanted everything! I had some bell peppers from the farm in the freezer that I wanted to use.  Have you ever frozen those?  It’s fabulous because you cut them into strips before you freeze them so it’s very handy to just take a few out as you need them.  No wastage!

I sauteed some of the peppers, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, kale,  and sunflower seeds before adding it to the quinoa. I tossed some diced apple in there just before stuffing the squash and the combination was super flavorful.  I had not cooked red and white quinoa before and I loved the the colour it added to the dish.

sunflowers | Simply Fresh Dinners

Don’t you just love the sunflowers at this time of year?  I wish I had a big garden of them in the backyard.

acorn squash

And so many wonderful types of squash – spaghetti, butternut, kabocha, acorn, buttercup – so many to choose from but I finally settled on acorn because they’re just so darn pretty.  Those are kabocha above.  That’s the fun thing about this dish, it will look so elegant on your table but take only a few minutes to make.

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Veggie Stuffing | Simply Fresh Dinners

I didn’t even know until recently that people like to make jokes about Canadians and their maple syrup – it could be worse, right?  They could make fun of our obsession with Tim Horton’s, hockey, and poutine – oh,wait, they do! ha! It’s all good and of course there is some truth to it so we better all have the ability to laugh at ourselves, don’t you think?

I thought you’d get a kick out of this maple syrup container because it contains just a little over 4 ounces.  It’s kind of like those liquor bottles that people slip into their jackets,  lol.  When we need a nip, we just take a sip…..Kidding!  I do love how cute this is, though.

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Veggie Stuffing | Simply Fresh Dinners

The celery at the farm was different than any I’d seen before.  Check this out!


I loved the thin stalks and I’ve made some celery soup from it as well that I’ll share soon.  I wondered if there would be a difference in taste and I may have detected a slightly stronger flavour but I’m not quite sure.  I think I just wanted it to be, ha!


And these carrots….well, perfection!

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Veggie Stuffing | Simply Fresh Dinners

The maple syrup was a great addition to the squash but if you don’t have it, a friend of mine uses a little butter and cinnamon and I think that would be delicious!

I hope you try this super easy dish and wow your guests over the holidays or just surprise your family with a healthy treat during the week.  Cheers!

Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Veggie Stuffing
Author: Robyn
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 persons
  • 2 acorn squash, halved (Careful when cutting them, they can roll around on you. Use a very sharp knife)
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup quinoa ( I love [url href=”” target=”_blank”]this[/url] brand because it’s pre-rinsed, organic and gluten-free)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup carrots, sliced thinly
  • 1 small handful of kale, chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup onion, diced finely
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced finely
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds, walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup apple, diced finely
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Scoop the flesh and seeds from each halved piece of squash using a spoon or melon baller.
  2. Brush the cut sides with maple syrup, ensuring you do the insides as well. Season with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Place cut sides down on parchment paper or foil wrap on baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes or until fork tender. Check at 20 minute mark. It may require more or less time depending on your oven. Mine was done perfectly in 25 minutes.
  4. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the package. I used organic vegetable broth instead of water.
  5. Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan on med-high heat. Saute onions, garlic, carrots and celery until softened. Add sunflower seeds and kale, cooking for an additional 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and add apple, mixing well.
  7. Add mixture to quinoa and mix thoroughly.
  8. Scoop mixture into acorn halves and serve immediately.
  9. NOTE: If you time this right and cook all the elements at the same time, everything will be piping hot. If it needs a little help, don’t hesitate to return stuffed acorn into oven for 5-7 minutes before serving.


Maple Acorn Squash with Quinoa | Simply Fresh Dinners



  • Reply
    September 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! I could see this as a lunch for my son and me.

    Thanks for another delectable recipe, my friend. Hugs to you!

  • Reply
    GiGi Eats
    September 27, 2015 at 1:35 am

    Acorn squash – MMM I crave that stuff, however I have been going cold turkey on squash lately thanks to stomach issues – womp womp – but I will reintroduce it again soon!
    GiGi Eats recently posted…Put It In Your Mouth: Frozen Meal Taste TestMy Profile

  • Reply
    Anita Rivera
    September 27, 2015 at 4:33 am

    GOod morning my friend! WOW, you know what I’m going to say here: YOUR PHOTOS! The light, the “feel” – that sensual emotion that you want from a photo…..everything looks good and ready for whenever fall DOES COME! It has been warm here (no complaints, really), but that means no color yet on our very lush, green trees! But once fall does arrive, these recipes will be the first to go to. I can’t wait to chat again! Enjoy your Sunday, Anita

    • Reply
      September 27, 2015 at 7:52 am

      Thanks, Anita! I think it’s going to be time to buy some lights once the winter gets here. Lots more to learn about that, too! lol.
      Yes, I can hardly wait to get out in the country when the trees turn colour! Have a wonderful Sunday, xoox
      Robyn recently posted…Maple Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa Veggie StuffingMy Profile

  • Reply
    September 27, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Such an awesome dish! I bet the maple syrup was a great addition. Squash seems to be in abundance now. I recently made a butternut squash soup. There again, I don’t always take photos. Your photo styling makes the dish pop! Lots of love to you Robyn. From W.W. xo
    Linda recently posted…Blogger – Simple Drop-down MenuMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 28, 2015 at 8:27 am

      Hi Linda,
      I’m just loving maple syrup on everything these days. I need to make some soup next :). Thanks for your visit and sweet words, friend. xoxo

  • Reply
    September 28, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Wow Robyn, you really know how to create a beautiful dish! Pinning this! Thanks for sharing at #FoodandFitnessFriday!
    Jebbica recently posted…Food Journal & Fitness Log: 09-28-2015My Profile

    • Reply
      September 30, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Awwhh, thanks, Jessica – you started my day off with a smile :). Looking forward to your party this week 🙂

  • Reply
    September 28, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Hi Robyn.
    These acorn squash look delicious and I love wonderful healthy ingredients. Such great colors too – makes it look so tempting. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays Pinned & tweeted!
    Marla recently posted…“Hello Autumn – Harvesting Your Health And Making Sauerkraut!”My Profile

    • Reply
      September 30, 2015 at 6:53 am

      Thanks, Marla! Finally ready for Fall 🙂

  • Reply
    September 28, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    Hi Robyn, what a beautiful dish you created, this is the perfect fall meal or side dish. Those sunflowers are beautiful.
    cheri recently posted…Cottage Cooking Club Month of SeptemberMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 30, 2015 at 6:55 am

      Thanks so much, Cheri. Sunflowers seem to make everyone smile, don’t they?

  • Reply
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks
    September 28, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Hello! So glad I stumbled upon your blog today! This looks absolutely delicious. I just can’t get enough squash these days!!
    Dani @ Dani California Cooks recently posted…White Bean and Basil Nourish Bowls (vegan, gluten free)My Profile

    • Reply
      September 30, 2015 at 6:57 am

      Thanks, so much, Dani. I’m really glad you found me, too! I don’t normally crave squash but it’s great to have lots of it this time of year, isn’t it? Just took a peek at your beautiful blog and looking forward to exploring more yummy healthy dishes 🙂

  • Reply
    sarah garce
    September 28, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    I made something similar but cut the squash to make quinoa stuff squash flowers last thanksgiving!
    This definitely looks like a delicious and filling way to serve it though. Mmmm!


    • Reply
      September 30, 2015 at 6:58 am

      Oh, that sounds so pretty, Sarah Grace. I have another squash and I’m considering doing something with cranberries and parsley….just haven’t quite figured it out yet. Thanks for visiting!

  • Reply
    Nancy A. @
    September 29, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Fabulous recipe Robyn that I pinned. I’m a first time visitor and glad of it. I’m so excited to get to see your blog and learn of this recipe. I plan to us it as soon as I can get some acorn squash. It is a sight to behold. Nancy A @

    • Reply
      September 30, 2015 at 7:00 am

      Hi Nacy,
      So glad you enjoy the recipe and welcome! We’re a fun group here :). Your kind words started my day out with a big smile! I’m off to visit your blog!

  • Reply
    September 29, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Oh Yum!
    That looks so tasty and healthy!
    Just what I need at the moment.
    Thanks so much for sharing
    Gourmet Getaways
    GourmetGetaways recently posted…Slow Cooked Beef BourguignonMy Profile

    • Reply
      September 30, 2015 at 7:01 am

      Thanks, Julie! Its easy to make, too. I always enjoy your visits – thanks. Now off to see your Beef Bourguignon! Can’t wait 🙂

  • Reply
    September 30, 2015 at 9:48 am

    Hi Robyn,
    Your stuffed acorn squash recipe looks so good.
    I would love to make this.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Julie at Julie’s Lifestyle
    Julie recently posted…Wordless Wednesday – A Yawn from Bosco!My Profile

  • Reply
    Bam's Kitchen
    September 30, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Ok, now I have to alter my last post statement and now these are the best photos ever! Each post, better and better and such gorgeous fresh ingredients from the farm. Love that! I love kabocha squash and that is what we have here in Hong Kong so it is much easier to find rather than say acorn or butternut, but you can find those as well but are not as common. 4 ounces of maple syrup, how cute is that!!! I love the natural sweet and savory combo. Smoke signals sent!
    Bam’s Kitchen recently posted…Baby Shower Potluck & GIVEAWAYMy Profile

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life
    October 1, 2015 at 8:02 pm

    I am so making this, Robyn! There is plenty of acorn squash at the farmer’s market and this looks absolutely amazing! I wanted to let you know you are featured tonight at #FoodieFriDIY…sent tons of foodie love your way!
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…FoodieFriDIY no 66 and FeaturesMy Profile

  • Reply
    October 4, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    THIS should be in a magazine Robyn – such a wonderful dish and beautiful photographs!! Next to home made bread (okay, and maybe candy) my husband’s favorite dish is squash of all sorts. He will be excited to try this and what a perfect dish to serve to company because visually it is perfection as well!
    Mindy recently posted…1+3=1My Profile

  • Reply
    October 4, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Hi sweet friend! I just wanted to let you know that I HAD to feature this recipe at Roses of Inspiration tomorrow afternoon 🙂 Thanks for sharing, dear Robyn.

    Have a beautiful week. Hugs!

  • Reply
    bonnie morgan
    October 5, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    You are good with photography and your recipe sounds delish.

  • Reply
    Cecilia MyThriftStoreAddiction
    October 6, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Hello, I’m visiting from Roses of Inspiration! This looks so delicious and your photos are gorgeous! Pinning 😉
    Cecilia MyThriftStoreAddiction recently posted…Festive Fall Fruits & Veggies!My Profile

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